BRANDON — Jennifer “Fox” Haddock, who battled homelessness while earning an education to be a medical assistant at Tampa General Hospital, was named the recipient of the 2014 Dream Award scholarship from Everest University-Brandon.
The Dream Award recognizes a graduate who has overcome great odds to achieve his or her dream. The annual award is presented to an individual who has truly changed his or her life through the educational experience at Everest.
In Haddock’s case, she overcame the hard luck of becoming homeless when her husband lost his job. Shamed by the stigma and wanting to build a better life for their 1-year-old son, the stay-at-home mother picked up the ball and enrolled in Everest University-Brandon’s medical assistant program. Her husband, Mike, later enrolled in Everest’s criminal justice program. Their son was a frequent campus guest, with the couple switching off babysitting duties between classes.
“Fox overcame her situation of not knowing if there would be a next meal or how to pay for a room for the night to achieving a perfect 4.0 grade point average with perfect attendance. She gave back by being an active supporter of campus events and community fundraisers as a member of the school’s Igniter Ambassador honor student program. She is now gainfully employed in her field of study at Tampa General Hospital, and yet she continues to give back by returning to the Everest campus to give motivational talks to students,” said Todd Pearson, campus president.
“Every day, I soldiered on. Every week, I wanted to quit. Every minute, I thought of my son. I studied harder. I gave back. When my externship rolled around, I had beaten the odds. Tampa General, the place I wanted to spend my career and build Kenneth that better life, was interested. Five weeks later, they hired me. No longer has this been the year we prayed our son would never remember, but one we’re proud to tell him about every day,” Haddock said in her graduation speech in July.